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Syracuse XC: Orange Men Dominate Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown

With 5 runners in the top 10, led by individual winner Justyn Knight, the Syracuse men coasted to victory. Meanwhile, Margo Malone and the women turned in a very good performance to grab 2nd place.


The Syracuse Orange were expected to win Friday's Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown, but the way the #3 team took care of business sent a message to the XC world that they were deserving of their high ranking. Content to let the race unfold, Syracuse seized control in the final two miles and ended up with a score of 24 points to easily take the victory over Dartmouth, who finished with 67 points.

Justyn Knight led the way for Syracuse winning the race in a time of 23:51 for the 8k Franklin Park course. Close behind were Colin Bennie in 3rd, Martin Hehir in 4th, Joel Hubbard in 7th, and Dan Lennon in 10th. I've talked the last two seasons about the strength of the Syracuse team being ability to have the top 5 run close together, but honestly this year's squad isn't just about running close together, it's a group that's capable of running together at the front of the pack.

After last year's performance at this meet, Coach Chris Fox wasn't particularly impressed, but this year seemed to be a different story as Fox explained to, calling this group the best he's had during his time at Syracuse:

LetsRun also got some comments from Knight and Hehir about the strategy for this race, and about the outlook for the Syracuse squad in 2015.

On the women's side, once again Margo Malone led the way for Syracuse. Malone finished 2nd overall for the 2nd week in a row as the Orange women ended up behind #8 Providence. Malone ran 16:51 for 5k and was just one second behind the winner, Christina Melian (not Christina Milian) from Stony Brook. Sydney Leiher (13th), Maura Linde (28th), Cassia Hameline (32nd), and Stephanie Bitcon (52nd) were the other Orange scorers.

The #19 Orange were able to knock #3 Georgetown at the race, and even though the Hoyas were not at full strength, it should be enough to give Syracuse a boost in this week's polls. More importantly, the women picked up potential NCAA at-large points by finishing ahead of both Georgetown and Dartmouth, Margo Malone mentioned being proud of her team, and with good reason. If Syracuse can get that 5th runner up closer to the top 4 moving forward, they will be in good position to place higher this Fall at the ACC and NCAA Championships.

Syracuse will be back in action on Friday October 16th at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational. Last year, the Men surprised a lot of experts with their win, but they won't sneak up on anyone this year as they look to defend the title.